Dr. Don Swerida has been a veterinarian for 24 years, working with anything from wild animals to common house pets. During his at senior year as a vet student at Ohio State University, he interned at Busch Gardens and continues his education by attending labs at the Association of Avian Veterinary.
Dr. Don came to Sarasota 24 years ago, working as a vet, and he started his mobile vet business 18 years ago. In those 18 years, Dr. Don’s Mobile Vet business has grown, and he cares for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, pocket pets and fish, both at his space at the Ashton Animal Clinic and at people’s homes.
While Dr. Don is known for being a mobile vet, he does rent out a space from the Ashton Animal Clinic in order to do surgeries and certain lab work that he cannot do from his van. Yet his van does have quite a lot of tools, gadgets and medicines that allow him to do plenty of things at people’s homes, including a net to catch Koi fish and a portable microscope to look at the scrapings off the caught, sick Koi fish. He has plenty of tricks up his sleeve and in his mobile van.
He works with a talented staff, including his veterinary technician, Kathy Ritsema. Ritsema has been with Dr. Don for two and a half years and has learned a lot more about working with some of the more exotic animals that Dr. Don has taken on as patients.
Dr. Don and his staff consider most days to be pretty common, however, for those who are not working in the veterinary world, Dr. Don’s daily schedule is anything but ordinary. On the Friday that staff photographer Rachel S. O’Hara followed him around, he had visits from dogs, rats and birds as well as five surgeries at Ashton Animal Clinic along with three house calls.
Check out the photos to see a day in the life of mobile vet Dr. Don Swerida.
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